To hate your parents, really feel it, is against the judeao-christian ethic, society, and our own inbred belief system.
In my psychiatric practice, countless patients have spent many hours “discovering” how they really feel about their mother and father. Even the most obviously abusive, alcoholic, and violent parent often remains immune to justly deserved hateful feelings. The parent who puts up a good front to the world, but in the privacy of the home is critical, distant, unempathic and devaluing is often more complicated to unravel.
How can you hate the person who gave you life and who you were dependent on? It feels immoral. It’s also crazy-making to know on one level that you can’t stand to be in the presence of a parent and at the same time doubt your right to have those feelings. Without our parents we wouldn’t exist. Often a patient or friend says, “I don’t hate my father. I just can’t talk to him, don’t want to be around him, and wish he’d just disappear. If I never saw him again, it would be okay. But…I don’t hate him.”
Well, how about EXTREME DISLIKE, which to me sounds a lot like HATE. If our parents have earned it, we have the right to our feelings.
In Chasing Backwards, Joe Belmont, a 24 y/o medical student who just learned his mother was killed, struggles with these feelings as he’s being interviewed by Detective Barneggi.
I glance back out the window. The light patterns are hypnotic, cars barreling down Vine Street, streaks of yellow and red swirling about in the darkness. Where will I bury her? What the hell do I do for money? I close my eyes and involuntarily shiver. What kind of asshole thinks about money at a time like this? I grip the coffee mug and picture heaving it through the plate-glass window.
A major bonus about getting in touch with hateful feelings is the possibility that when the hate is dealt with, there is the possibility that love still exists.